Highlights – november 2007

Türk to Challenge Peterle in Slovenian Runoff Presidential Election

Official results from Slovenia’s presidential elections show that former United Nations diplomat Danilo Türk will face the country’s former Prime Minister Lojze Peterle in the November 11th run-off vote. Peterle won the first round on 21st October with 28.73 per cent just ahead of two left-wing candidates: Türk and Gaspari, who were neck-and-neck with 24.47 per cent and 24.09 per cent, respectively. Votes from abroad seem to have played a decisive role.

Zmago Jelinčič Plemeniti got 19.16 per cent, Darko Kranjc 2.18, Elena Pečarič 0.90 and Monika Piberl 0.48 per cent. Electoral registers included 1.696.473 Slovenian citizens eligible for voting. In the first round, 991.708 voters cast their votes. It was the lowest turnout on record in a Slovenian presidential poll, at 57.04 per cent.

Close results put the spotlight on the state electoral commission’s new regulations regarding the electoral procedure for Slovenians living abroad and the system has officially been called into question by Elena Pečarič.

A Talk with Jožica Gerden from Australia

Jožica Gerden has been living in Mildura rural city as long as 38 years. For the last ten years she has been a member of the managing committee of the Slovenian World Congress with the responsibility for overseas countries. As secretary of the Australian Slovenian Congress she has been actively involved in the Slovenian community. She was the editress of the Slovenian radio program for fifteen years and organizer of several cultural events, concerts etc. According to her, Slovenia is the most beautiful country in the world. She visits her four sisters, three brothers and their families almost every two years.

Jožica Gerden stresses the importance of the implementation of the Law for Slovenes Abroad, which gave to Australian Slovenes two representatives in the Council for Slovenes Abroad; however, she points out also its imperfections concerning mode of election and naturalization. On the other hand, she is concerned about the fact that, except Saturday schools in principal cities youngsters do not have enough possibilities to learn Slovenian.

Slovenes in Chile

There are between 60 and 70 Slovenes in Chile, most of them come from the Primorska region. Detailed information about them can be found in the Silesian Museum of history in Punta Arenas. For long time Slovenes have been active members of Yugoslav clubs and associations, until 1991, when these clubs were renamed into Croatian clubs. Our compatriots felt no longer comfortable and decided to found the Slovenian association. They thought there were at least thousand Slovenes and their descendants living in Chile and decided to link them up in order to preserve the national identity.

Slovenian World Congress Hosted Scientists and Economists

The fifth conference of Slovenian scientists and economists from around the world was held on 4th and 5th October, 2007 in Ljubljana’s hotel Slon. The main purpose of the conference was to link together intellectual richness abroad and scientific-development and business potential in the homeland. More then 200 participants were received by the president of the Slovenian World Congres dr. Boris Pleskovič and Higher Education and Science and Technology Minister Mojca Kucler Dolinar. The collaboration of the president of the Slovenian Academy of Arts and Sciences Boštjan Žekš and Development Minister Žiga Turk was also very important. During the meeting most important scientists and researches presented their professional achievements, results and challenges. They also pointed out some difficulties, concerning the implementation of their innovative concepts and putting research achievements into practice.

Martinmas in the Past and Today

In the modern world St. Martin’s or Martinmas is a feast which is mostly connected with new wine. In the days around St. Martin’s the must is changed into wine. The feast is celebrated on November 11th. The foods traditionally eaten on the day are goose or duck with chestnut or apple stuffing and with mlinci and red sauerkraut.

According to the ethnologist Janez Bogataj from the Ljubljana Faculty of Arts, the customs and habits on St. Martin’s show that this feast has a lot of older roots that the Christian ones. In short, this was a feast at the end of good or less good harvest. During the years habits have changes and nowadays this feast has lost its real meaning, especially among youngsters.


Petra Prelec

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